Vatican Women's Magazine Denounces Exploitation of Nuns by Church Officials

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The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano apparently has a women’s magazine, and apparently, they are not fucking around.


The Associated Press reported that their March issue is dedicated to women and work and goes deep on topics “including the gender pay gap, the lack of women in leadership positions, and the “Ni Una Menos” movement to combat feminicide and violence against women, often by spurned lovers.” It also looks at the way that nuns are treated within the church:

Its expose on the underpaid labor and unappreciated intellect of religious sisters confirmed that the magazine is increasingly becoming the imprint of the Catholic Church’s #MeToo movement.

“Some of them serve in the homes of bishops or cardinals, others work in the kitchens of church institutions or teach. Some of them, serving the men of the church, get up in the morning to make breakfast, and go to sleep after dinner is served, the house cleaned and the laundry washed and ironed,” reads one of the lead articles.

“Behind all this is the unfortunate idea that women are worth less than men, and above all that priests are everything in the church while sisters are nothing,” one nun told the author of the piece. Another noted that nuns from poorer backgrounds who come from around the world to Rome are put in a particularly bad position: “These sisters feel indebted, tied down, and so they keep quiet.”

This isn’t an isolated move from the six-year-old magazine, either. Apparently they are in the business of rocking the holy boat:

“Until now, no one has had the courage to denounce these things,” the magazine’s editor, Lucetta Scaraffia, told The Associated Press. “We try to give a voice to those who don’t have the courage to say these words” publicly.

“Inside the church, women are exploited,” she said in a recent interview.

Bet the Vatican loves hearing that!

Senior Editor at Jezebel, specializing in books, royals, romance novels, houses, history, and the stories we tell about domesticity and femininity. Resident Windsor expert.



As someone who grew up Catholic (but now wouldn’t set foot in a church if the rest of the planet were lava), the way the Church treats nuns has a far-reaching effect that goes beyond just those nuns. It’s ingrained in your consciousness from an early age that the priests are superior. They’re saying mass. They wear the fancy robes. They bless the bread and wine and magically turn it into flesh and blood. And they’re all men. The women? They teach, clean up, cook, and generally serve. What lesson does that teach young Catholic boys and girls, many of whom are around this culture from the time they’re born?

There’s an easy solution to some of this, of course: Lift the ban on women in the priesthood.

Or disband the Church and sell off all of its assets and give it to the poor. But the ban-lifting is probably more doable.